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Wisconsin football recruiting: Badgers make Top-15 lists for Josh Ball, Ron Johnson, Jr., make Texas offers

Can the Badgers make a statement in recruiting against some of the best with two prospects?

Student Sports

As we transition into late May and early June, programs begin to hold their respective summer camps for high school recruits. Paul Chryst's first series of camps as Wisconsin Badgers head coach begin this upcoming weekend and run for the next three weekends.

Also during this time plenty of "Top" lists are released by these recruits. Last week, we mentioned how 247 Sports' composite four-star Fort Wayne, Ind. (Bishop Luers) wide receiver Austin Mack announced his top eight schools, which included Wisconsin. In the past few days, two players narrowed down and tweeted out their "Top 15" programs -- which also included the Badgers in the hunt.

Josh Ball

The Fredericksburg, Va. (Stafford Sr.) offensive tackle tweeted out his list on Friday.

Wisconsin offered in late April, but Ball's already impressive offer list blew up even further with three offers in mid-May from SEC schools Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee -- which all made his list. The Badgers will have to beat out an impressive list of programs for the composite high three-star tackle.

When speaking with BadgerNation's Ben Worgull in April after being offered, Ball noted he didn't know much about Wisconsin but was surprised by the amount of former Badgers linemen playing in the NFL. Though the interview occurred before some of his most recent offers, Ball hoped to visit Alabama, Auburn and Florida State -- though it appears the Crimson Tide did not make the cut (per multiple recruiting websites, he had not been offered by Nick Saban, yet). Madison could be in the loop for a visit, the 6'7 310-pound tackle said.

"I'm looking for a good education, that's one of the main top things," said Ball. "Football doesn't last forever. I want to go somewhere where I'm competing for a national championship. Those are two main attributes I am looking for."

Currently, 247 Sports' Crystal Ball currently holds 40 percent for West Virginia, then 20 percent each for Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Ron Johnson, Jr.

Composite four-star defensive end and Wisconsin legacy Ron Johnson, Jr. released his Top 15 Sunday afternoon.

The 6'4, 240-pound Camden, N.J. native, like Ball, has quite the impressive and extensive offer list. Crystal ball predictions believe Johnson will land with Penn State (67 percent), Rutgers (25 percent) and Michigan (8 percent).

Can the Badgers close in on Johnson?

Wisconsin offers trio of Texas teammates

Over the past couple of seasons, former head coach Gary Andersen's staff made Texas a priority on the recruiting trail for the Badgers. It helped land them running back Jordan Stevenson for the class of 2015.

Gone is Andersen and safeties coach Bill Busch, but Chryst's regime continues to try to build relationships in the Lone Star State.

Among more offers sent out Friday were for three Katy, Tex. teammates -- linebacker Paddy Fisher, and safeties Travis Whillock and Collin Wilder.

There have been hints of all three wanting to play together at the same school, with greater detail in Badger 247's Evan Flood's article with Wilder ($) and BadgerNation's piece on Whillock. Whillock noted his enthusiasm for the offer.

"I've always followed them, as far as doing the football season," said Whillock. "They weren't on my radar because they weren't recruiting me. But now that they have offered me, I think I would definitely go visit the campus and see what it's all about. I'm excited."

Wisconsin is in need of depth in the secondary with losing seniors Michael Caputo and Tanner McEvoy after the 2015 season, and the Badgers' inside linebackers may still need help in the two-deep depending upon the development of Nick Thomas and Chris Orr. If the three players hope to commit to the same program, Wisconsin will have to contend with other programs for all of their services.